Monday, September 10, 2012
Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 3
By David Ubben
Not as much moving and shaking as you'd think after the reigning Big 12 champs lose. Basically, the Cowboys slipped to the bottom of the pile of teams who could be Big 12 contenders. Iowa State and Texas Tech are a coin flip for now, but Texas Tech's style points keep the Cyclones from jumping over the Red Raiders after a good win at Iowa, but an ugly win.
Here's how the Big 12 sits after two weeks of games.
1. West Virginia (1-0, last week: 1) West Virginia had to feel a little restless sitting around on Saturday after a strong opener. Oh, well. James Madison awaits at the Redskins' stadium in Landover, Md., this week.
2. Oklahoma (2-0, last week: 2) The Sooners got it rolling a little bit in the 69-13 win over Florida A&M, but these FCS games don't mean much. The Sooners weren't moving in this week's Power Rankings. The Sept. 22 date against Kansas State just got reaaaaaal interesting. OU may need every bit of the next two weeks to prepare.
3. Kansas State (2-0, last week: 3) The Wildcats were the Big 12's most impressive team on Saturday, treating Miami like an also-ran and completely dominating from start to finish. That's what happens when you win the battle on both lines of scrimmage and win the turnover battle 3-1. Kansas State outrushed Miami 288-40.
4. Texas (2-0, last week: 5) New Mexico's not a very good team, but Texas has to feel pretty good about pitching a shutout after giving up 17 to Wyoming last week. Most important: Another game, another night without a turnover for David Ash, who threw two touchdown passes and ran for a 49-yard score to get UT on the board in its 45-0 win. Good signs all around for the fellas in burnt orange.
5. Baylor (1-0, last week: 6) Baylor moves up a spot thanks to Oklahoma State, but a semi-intriguing FCS game awaits in Waco. In-state opponent Sam Houston State is heading to town, but the Bearkats played for a national title a year ago. Smart money says BU rolls, but don't be surprised if this game is tight for a little bit. SHSU has a lot of confidence.
6. TCU (1-0, last week: 7) Good debut all around for the Frogs. Not much to pick on after a dominant 56-0 win over Grambling that could have been much worse. No incompletions for two different QBs and a shutout? Oklahoma State proved last night it doesn't mean much, but you couldn't ask for more from the Frogs, who looked solid.
7. Oklahoma State (1-1, last week: 4) That was a shocker. Can't watch that game and still believe Oklahoma State won't take a big step back. Hard to beat the same team three times in 16 games, but that was a different Arizona team, and the Cowboys looked wholly unprepared to defend the zone read. If Oklahoma State can't stop the run and can't throw the ball without turning it over (Wes Lunt's fault or the receivers' fault, it doesn't matter much in the end), it's in for another rude awakening when Texas arrives on Sept. 29. The Pokes get two weeks to prepare after hosting Louisiana-Lafayette next week.
8. Texas Tech (2-0, last week: 8) Really nice win in a tough spot for the Red Raiders. Cody Davis started it off right with the pick-six, and Seth Doege got off to a nice start, too, tossing a pair of TDs to Darrin Moore in the game's first 10 minutes. Tech controlled it from there and kept pushing for a nice snowball effect on the Bobcats, who looked overmatched from the start. Tech's receivers are as deep as advertised, and man, Jakeem Grant is slippery. His 42-yard catch was one of the highlights of the weekend.
9. Iowa State (2-0, last week: 9) I hear you, Cyclones. Tulsa and Iowa are better than the two teams Texas Tech beat. Yes. But man, Iowa State can look bad at times. More often, it look determined, with a defense that has turned the game in two consecutive weeks. Both times, it was a huge play from Jake Knott. Texas Tech hasn't done enough to allow the Cyclones to leap over them, but making it to 2-0 at this point is no small accomplishment. Only Western Illinois stands between Iowa State and Texas Tech on Sept. 29, so we'll settle this debate on the field then.
10. Kansas (1-1, last week: 10) Losing to Rice? Seriously? KU's got a talent upgrade, but that game was marked by the attributes of a team that still needs to learn how to win. Losing to Rice is one thing, but blowing a 24-13 lead to the Owls in Lawrence in just more than 15 minutes? Good grief. Long way to go for KU. I tweeted it yesterday, but right now, the Big 12's top nine teams are playing pretty good football. Kansas continues to be the exception for two-plus seasons now. Only one way to go from here for KU, though.